Batting fourth as the designated hitter, Encarnacion was removed in the eighth inning of Kansas City’s 5-0 win on Friday night when his left middle finger swelled up again. Gibbons said Encarnacion underwent an MRI before deciding to play on Saturday.
"A normal game, he wouldn’t be in there," Gibbons said. "But we need him, so he’s in there. He’ll battle through it."
Encarnacion, who hit 39 home runs and had 111 RBI for the AL East champs, has struggled with the finger much of the year, missing games in August and September. Justin Smoak pinc- hit in the eighth inning and popped out with two runners on base.
"Edwin’s a big part of our team," said Toronto outfielder Kevin Pillar. "Any time he’s in the lineup we’re a better team. It’s something he’s dealt with throughout the year. He probably wouldn’t be playing if it wasn’t a postseason game. But Edwin is truly passionate and wants to win and he’s going to do whatever it takes to get ready to play today."